Province reports 834 new cases, 12 further deaths as Dr. Henry urges people not to travel

Dr. Bonnie Henry used an Interior old-timer's hockey team as an example, saying the team recently travelled to Alberta and then returned, bringing COVID-19 back with it, leading to spread within its home community and dozens of infections.

As B.C. reports another 834 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 further deaths from the disease, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is pleading British Columbians not to travel.

"Consider the importance of not travelling right now," she said, noting that request includes travel within B.C. and to other provinces.

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Henry used an Interior hockey team as an example, saying the adult old-timer's team recently travelled to Alberta and then returned, bringing COVID-19 back with it, leading to spread within its home community and dozens of infections.

"Making an exception for yourself, or your team, for your recreational needs, puts a crack in our wall," she said.

B.C. has now seen 34,728 confirmed cases, with 24,424 of those recovered, 8,941 active and 469 dead.

Another 10,201 people are under active public health monitoring due to exposure to confirmed cases.

In hospital, there are now 337 patients across B.C., with 79 of those in critical care units.

Wednesday's new cases include 66 in the Interior Health region, which has had a total of 1,899 cases date. There are 570 active cases in Interior Health, with 18 people in hospital, none of whom are in intensive care. To date, there have been three COVID-19-related deaths in the health region.

Elsewhere in the province, there have been 174 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health, 529 in Fraser Health, 20 in Vancouver Island Health and 45 in Northern Health.

With news of the Pfizer-BioNtech being approved by the United Kingdom, Henry also said B.C. is working on its immunization strategy and awaiting Canada to do the same.

"We are ready to provide it to high priority populations as soon as vaccine is available to us in B.C.," she said.

Henry said other countries' approval of the vaccine shows "clear evidence there is light ahead."

B.C.'s provincial health officer also took a more playful question on Wednesday. Asked what she wants for Christmas, Henry first said "a vaccine."

"What I want for Christmas is everybody to stay home with their family and stay safe so that we can get through to the next year," she said.

© Kamloops This Week



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